Košutnikov Turn (Koschutnikturm) is the highest summit along the Košuta ridge in the Karawanks mountain range in the Slovenian Alps. The 10-km-long Košuta ridge is the longest mountain in Slovenia and forms part of the natural border between Austria and Slovenia.
While it’s possible to ascend to Košutnikov Turn from both countries, it’s far more accessible from the Slovenian side.
From the north (Austria), you can reach the peak via a Klettersteig (via ferrata) trail. From the south (Slovenia), you can hike to the summit along a regular hiking trail.
We hiked to Košutnikov Turn from the Slovenian side, starting at Planina Dolga Njiva, a mountain dairy on the slopes of the Košuta ridge.
This post outlines our loop trail and everything you need to know about how to get to the trailhead, where to eat, and where to stay.
Planina Dolga Njiva and Košutnikov Turn Day Hike
- Mountain Range: Karawanks (also spelled Karavankas and Karavanks)
- Trailhead: Parking area below Planina Dolga Njiva (35 min drive from Tržič)
- Distance: 8.1 km circuit
- Time Needed: 4:30 hours
- Elevation: 840 meters ascending/descending
- Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
- When to Hike: Mid-June – Mid-September, when Planina Dolga Njiva is open.
- Where to Stay: Štorman Tourist Farm Apartments in Tržič
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Košutnikov Turn Hiking Map
How to Get to the Košutnikov Turn Trailhead
Drive to the town of Tržič in Northern Slovenia. From Tržič, you’ll drive through the Dovžan Gorge to Jelendol village, following the Tržič Bistrica river.
After driving through Jelendol, the road divides. Stay to the right and continue on the unpaved road for another 9 km.
When you reach the first intersection, turn left in the direction of “Planina Dolga Njiva.” At the second crossroads, make a right, again following signs towards “Dolga Njiva” and “Planšarija.”
The designated parking lot is marked with a large blue “P” sign. There’s no parking fee.
The drive from Tržič to the trailhead takes 35-40 minutes.
Košutnikov Turn Route Description
Hike to Planina Dolga Njiva (20 minutes)
From the parking area, there’s a red-painted waymark and an arrow pointing you in the direction of “Kosut. Turn”. Follow the direction of the arrow, taking the upper track. Soon you’ll see an almost hidden wooden sign indicating 20 minutes to Dolga Njiva and 2 hours to Košutnikov Turn.
As you ascend, the footpath is at first very obvious. After crossing a wooden platform bridge, the trail seems to diverge in a few directions. Maintain the same direction, staying on the “Pastirska pot” trail and you’ll soon enter Planina Dolga Njiva.
Planina Dolga Njiva to Košuta ridge (1:15 hours)
When you enter the pasture area, the beautiful Košuta ridge towers above the sloping pasture. Before reaching the Dolga Njiva pasture hut, there’s a signed intersection. To start the hike to Košutnikov Turn, turn left (signed 1 hr 30 min).
Soon, you’ll cross a pasture fence and then hike through the forest. A few minutes later, you’ll make a sharp right, when you see the red trail sign to Košutnikov Turn.
This part of the trail is defined by tight, steep hairpins. You’ll ascend quickly through the forest and then up a grassy slope. When you emerge above the timberline, you’ll continue to hike up and across a steep mountain slope. This is treacherous after rainfall, or in rain.
The views get increasingly more exciting. At first, you’ll see the ever-present Storžic, the highest mountain in the western part of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps. Later on, more of the Kamnik range is visible.
Ultimately the trail levels out for a while, bringing you below Košutnikov Turn. This easy stretch ends abruptly, when the trail steers left, ascending steeply to the ridge.
Read Next: Best Hikes in Slovenia
Košuta ridge to Košutnikov Turn (15 minutes)
From the ridge, the dizzying views towards Austria are impressive, if not spine-tingling. A sign indicates 15 minutes to Košutnikov Turn. This final stretch to the summit requires a bit of scrambling and caution.
Košutnikov Turn to Planina Dolga Njiva (1:45 minutes)
The loop trail continues from the summit south-east. Initially, it’s very steep and you need to concentrate on each step you take.
After descending 190 meters, the trail continues left, crossing through the rocky towers above the planina. Keep your eyes out for chamois.
Though the trail isn’t difficult, it’s very narrow at times, running above precipices in some places.
The descent becomes increasingly easier with time. You’ll hike through dwarf pine and ultimately emerge at the upper part of the Dolga Njiva pasture. When you get to the meadow, head right, following the dirt road to the Dolga Njiva dairy farm (20 min).
Eat Lunch at Planina Dolga Njiva
Dolga Njiva is a very special place. In summer, the pasture hut is surrounded by enclosures of pigs, bunnies, turkeys, chickens, donkeys, sheep, and cows. You can eat a traditional Slovenian lunch here.
Because there wasn’t a menu and our comprehension was limited, we simply ordered one of everything. We ate:
- Štruklji – traditional dough roll filled with a cottage cheese filling. Sugar and cinnamon on the side.
- Ajdovi Žganci – buckwheat spoon bread, or buckwheat porridge, served with pork cracklings.
- Kranjska klobasa & Kislo Zelje – Carniolan sausage served with Sauerkraut
- Kislo Mleko – Sour Milk
Where to Stay
Related: Where to Stay in Slovenia in Summer
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